Marriott International, one of the world’s largest hotel chains that hosts over a million guests per night around the globe, is betting high on India.
The hospitality major, which currently manages 120 hotels under 17 brands across the country, says it will open 54 new hotels by 2025, to add 15,000 fresh rooms to its existing bunch of 24,000 keys.
Rajeev Menon, president, Asia Pacific (excluding greater China), Marriott International told The Hindu that, “We have 50-plus hotels in the pipeline and most of them are under construction by various property developers across the country.
“All these hotels will be built as per our brand specification and we will operate them under management agreements that are typically for 25 to 30 years.’’
Maryland-based Marriott has witnessed a rapid scale- up in India in the last 10 years. It opened its maiden property in the country in Goa in 1999. In 2001, it had three properties, including Renaissance Mumbai and in 2007, it added three more hotels. The chunk of its growth came in the last over- -a-decade.
On the impact of the slowdown on the hospitality industry, he said the industry was going through different cycles and the current situation, in his opinion, was a blip, specific to certain sectors. However, he said, tourism was one of the growth industries in India, with all three segments — in-bound, out-bound and domestic travel — witnessing positive growth.
As per Mr. Menon, China had become the number one outbound market in the world with over 150 million Chinese travelling all over the world. It took only 10 years for China to reach this figure.
“I see this happening in India as well. Based on the trends, we think outbound India could get up to 50 million in the next few years. On the domestic front, over 1.4 billion trips are already happening. It’s a huge opportunity for the country,’’ he added.
Commenting on the market outlook, Mr. Menon further explained, travel was becoming the greatest aspiration of Indians. People who started their overseas holidays with short haul destinations like Dubai, Singapore and Thailand a year ago, were now going far field to South America, the Nordic countries, as far as New Zealand and Australia for experiential travel.
“As a result, we see a robust growth in tourism, not only in India and Asia Pacific but all across the globe. India continues to be a critical growth engine for us in APAC. The country delivers strong results right from revenues, service to some exceptional talent,’’ Mr. Menon further added.